Episode 212: Miami Spice

Island Spice Beef Ribs

Island Spice Beef Ribs

In Miami, our food culture is firmly anchored in Latin America and the West Indies. This recipe with a fresh herb and chili spice paste is an homage to the West Indian communities in Miami.


Other Recipes from Episode 212: Miami Spice


Bajan Beef Plate Ribs


Island Spice Beef Ribs

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8
  • Equipment: Wood chips, soaked in water to cover for 30 minutes, then drained, or chunks of hardwood, or more as needed; insulated cooler (optional, for resting meat)


For the Seasoning

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chile, seeded and minced
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • ¼ cup dark rum
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Lots of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 6 pounds meaty beef long ribs, aka plate ribs

Recipe Steps

1: Prepare the seasoning. Mash the garlic, ginger, shallots, chile, scallions, parsley, cilantro, and thyme to a paste in a mortar, or puree in a food processor. Work in the remaining ingredients. Correct the seasonings, adding salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste. The mixture should be highly seasoned.

2: Place the ribs in a large zip-type plastic bag or in a baking dish large enough to hold them. Pour the seasoning over the ribs, stirring to mix, making sure the ribs are coated on all sides. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

3: Set up your grill for smoking and heat it to 250 degrees. (If using a charcoal grill, use half a chimney of embers.)

4: Scrape most of the marinade off the ribs and discard the solids. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well.

5: Arrange the ribs meat side up on the grate, away from the heat. Add 2 wood chunks or 1 1/2 cups of wood chips to the coals. When you see smoke, close the grill lid.

Indirect grill the ribs until darkly browned on the outside, very tender inside, and the meat has shrunk back from the ends of the bones by at least 3/4-inch, 4 to 5 hours. Add wood as needed to keep up a thin but steady stream of smoke for the first 3 hours, but open the lid as little as possible to avoid losing heat.

6: Serve the ribs at once, or let rest in an insulated cooler for 30 minutes (optional), then serve.

Recipe Tips

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Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2019 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein.